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My favorite cinematic memory involving an insurance salesman comes from Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run. After complaining about the cruel manner in which he and fellow convicts are treated while working on a chain-gang, Allen is tortured by being locked inside a sweatbox for several days with an insurance salesman.

For years I couldn't wait to turn 100 if for no other reason than insurance agents would no longer call every night at dinner time. If more insurance salesmen behaved like Ed Lee, maybe their profession wouldn't get such a bad rap.

The former SDAFF Chairman is at present one of the industry's leading producers. Lee been chosen to receive SDAFF's first annual Community Legacy Award in recognition of his business leadership, vision, and impact on the Arts.

I asked festival founder and director Lee Ann Kim why Lee was chosen to be the first recipient of the Community Legacy Award. "Honestly, I was nuts to start a film festival 13 years ago," she laughed. "What the heck was I thinking? It takes so much work, so much money, so much TIME! But it was through the support and leadership of Ed Lee, that we were able to raise big funds, and gain the credibility we needed to keep this machine going."

Lee helped SDAFF get their first major sponsor (Qualcomm) ten years ago. "It was a game changer for us," Kim continued. "Even in our 13th year, he continues to support us. We admire him and hope by recognizing him, we inspire many more Ed Lee's to make a difference."

The event takes place Wednesday, June 6 from 6 pm - 9 pm at the University Club, Symphony Towers. Tickets are $100 in advance or $150 at the door. Click for more information.

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